Banks set to help build customer confidence and support financial stability
Nationwide Building Society, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland have agreed to go through a new training programme that will support their staff to inform consumers about the protection available on savings and current accounts.
The package has been provided by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) as part of its campaign to raise awareness about the protection for consumers and what they are entitled to should something go wong.
The training begins just before the introduction of new FSA rules compelling banks, building societies and credit unions to inform consumers about which deposit guarantee scheme applies to their money.
Mark Neale, chief executive of the FSCS, said: “The banking crisis showed how important it is for consumers to have clear information about FSCS protection.
“From the end of August consumers will be able to see in branches and online how their savings are protected.
“As well as this visible reassurance it is vital they receive the correct information from front-line employees who serve customers.
“Our mystery shopping research shows there has been an encouraging increase in consumers being given the right information but there is still need for significant improvement.”
The FSCS has been working with major firms for the last 18 months to get the banks to start building awareness about the protection which exists for consumers.
From 31 August UK-registered firms will have to put up posters and stickers in branches to promote FSCS, and provide information on their websites about the protection which is available to consumers.
Foreign institutions with UK branches, which are not covered by FSCS, will have to state this and say which other national scheme is providing protection.
FSCS protects consumers if banks, building societies or credit unions go bust. Since 2001, it has helped more than 4.5m people and paid out more than £26bn.
It covers the full range of financial services.
Sarah Thwaites, Deputy Chief Executive of Financial Skills Partnership, said: “We have always felt it important that customers have access to information that is clear, easy to understand and accessible and so we have developed the training to help banks offer that level of service.
“This training module will not only help to fulfil regulatory requirements, it will also up-skill staff in a way that sends out a positive message about advances being made in the finance industry.”